Green Recycling Products Blog

Delaware updates recycling regulations to prohibit commingled collections

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Fibrex GroupDelaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has announced the final approval of new regulations in the state's Universal Recycling Law (URL) that will take effect on February 21, 2017. The changes include updated definitions and clarified requirements geared toward improving residential and commercial recycling rates.

One of the main updates is that any "waste services provider" is now responsible for ensuring they don't commingle waste and recyclables. If a cart or container has contaminants they can document the issue, notify residents and dispose of the material. Providers are also expected to supply adequate single-stream recycling containers to multi-family residential customers.

The regulations clarify that commercial customers are expected to conduct annual reviews of their waste stream, identify recyclables and arrange for collection to divert them from landfills. Commercial customers have been required to recycle since 2014 under the existing URL statue, but the specifications were unclear.

The 2010 URL has helped increase Delaware's diversion rate to about 43%, though the state did not meet its goal of 50% diversion by 2015. In an effort to reach a goal of 85% by 2020 officials have been working to clarify the law and get more material from the multi-family and commercial sectors. Single-stream recycling has been mandatory in multi-family buildings since 2013 and some form of recycling has been required for commercial buildings since 2014. Although not everyone has been participating correctly.

For example, willful commingling in collection trucks has been documented and some haulers expressed concern over being responsible for any contaminants that residents might put in their containers. While state officials recognized these concerns they said that haulers have the option to not accept contaminated carts and held firm on the new requirement. Other logistical challenges around placing containers outside of multi-family or commercial buildings were also recognized, though kept in the updated regulations. Additional requirements around the role of property managers in all of these situations may help alleviate some of the work for haulers.

These changes come shortly after the state released its latest batch of annual recycling grants to boost local programs. The state has also been working to update its drop-off center system. Even in a small state such as Delaware some residents in rural areas still manage their own waste and contamination had been an issue at these centers as well.

*Original by Cole Rosengren – 1/25/17 -

8 Ways to Green your Inauguration Celebration

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fibrex GroupThe Presidential Inauguration this week is estimated to be one for the history books. Washington officials are expecting a record turnout, and television networks are predicting record viewing numbers. Whether you’re planning to partake in the inaugural festivities from Washington, D.C., or from the comfort of your home, here are eight tips to help green your fete.

1. Digitize Your Memories

Buttons, hats and shirts oh my! With an estimated 2.5 million people expected to converge on the capital for the Presidential Inauguration, souvenir offerings will be plentiful. In fact, 500 temporary licenses are expected to be issued for street vendors on Inauguration day alone. Websites and stores are offering inauguration souvenirs ranging from cuff links to golf balls.

Forego the urge to buy a bunch of souvenirs that won’t last, and digitize your memories instead. After all, a picture is truly worth a thousand words, and a picture of a Presidential Inauguration may be worth even more. We’re not saying a little Presidential pride isn’t in order, but you may find that when all is said and done, your picture is the most valuable keepsake from that historic day.

2. Let Go of the Past

America saw one of the longest and hardest fought campaigns in her history. With that came campaigns signs galore. If you haven’t already, it’s time to let go of the past and recycle those campaign signs.

Political signs are often made of cardboard, corrugated plastic or paper, which many cities recycle through curbside programs. Try using it as the backboard to advertise your upcoming garage sale or party. There are also many DIY projects that can be constructed with campaign signs, from birdhouse making to furniture building.

3. The More the Merrier

As mentioned above, city officials predict millions of people to converge on the capital for Inauguration Day. That will make getting into the city a bit more complicated than your average commute. Parking restrictions have been expanded to accommodate a record number of tour buses, so securing a parking space may prove hard to come by (and, most likely, expensive).

Make the trip more memorable and carpool with friends. Try a company like TripVerde, whose national ridesharing service pairs like-minded people headed to the Inauguration together, saving money, gas and the environment, “one carbon footprint at a time.”

4. Entertain Friends the Green Way

Hosting friends on Inauguration day? Leave your friends seeing green stars with your eco-conscious Inauguration party. From washable dishware to virtual invitations, it may be easier to host a party with both the Earth and the President-elect in mind than you think.

5. Traveling to DC?

Getting to the Inauguration by plane, train or automobile? Be mindful of your carbon footprint while traveling. enables you to calculate the impact of your travel. For example, an economy class roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Washington D.C., leaves a carbon footprint of 0.75 tons. To offset that amount, provides various reforestation and carbon reduction programs worthy of your donation. Or, you can lessen your air travel impact with some simple reduction tips.

6. Get In-the-Know

With the election of a new President comes a new energy cabinet and new energy and environmental policies. Get up-to-date about what’s going on. That way, you can watch the Inauguration with friends and impress them with your environmental policy know-how.

If a party isn’t in your future, discuss the President’s new energy policy around the water cooler and impress your boss. In a job crunch? Look into the future of green jobs and find yourself one step ahead of the pack.

7. Invest in Green Home Improvements

Anticipating an $1,000 economic stimulus check? We know it’s tempting to buy that Guitar Hero World Tour you didn’t get for Christmas. In uncertain economic times, however, it might be wiser to stretch your dollars and invest in some green home improvements.

Check out GREENandSAVE’s Return on Investment (ROI) calculator for over 50 home remodeling projects. They offer simple green remodel ideas, all with the goal of saving money, energy and the environment. For example, invest in a $180 high-efficiency shower head and save $300 each year, a ROI of 111.1 percent. Beyond helping you save money, you’ll be contributing to the new green economy and jobs on the horizon.

8. New Administration, New Year, New You

A new administration and a new year: a great time for that green makeover you’ve been considering. Whether it’s carpooling to work with a colleague or starting a recycling program at your school, a green makeover might be the eco-friendly karma you need to start the new year off on the right foot. Here are some fun ways to cement your commitment:

  • Take the Recycling Pledge with the National Recycling Coalition and increase your recycling efforts in 2017.
  • Calculate your energy savings and pledge to reduce your carbon footprint with The Green Ribbon Pledge.
  • Take the Conservation Pledge and spend more time outdoors, reduce and offset carbon emissions or volunteer for a local conservation group.

**Original post by Lori Brown

Reduce and recycle in 2017: a New Year's resolution you can keep

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Fibrex GroupEach year, many of us resolve to lose weight, floss more, and better ourselves in some way. This year, why not resolve to be kinder and gentler to our planet? You may find it’s much easier (and more sustainable) than other resolutions you might make.

Besides checking out the Fibrex Group recycling and collection solutions for your office, home, dorm or public space; and follow through on the following suggestions for 2017.

Five ways to get organized and reduce waste

Regain control of your surroundings and stuff during Get Organized Month this January by following these five easy and practical steps to reduce waste.

  1. Stop unwanted printed advertising mail.
  2. Buy in bulk to avoid excess packaging. For example, buy juice, snacks and other lunch items in bulk and use reusable containers to bring them to school or work.
  3. Buy smaller quantities of perishable foods. It saves rotten tomatoes from the landfill and saves you money!
  4. Shop with reusable bags beyond the grocery store. Remember to bring bags with you when you go to department and hardware stores, clothing retailers and everywhere else you shop!
  5. Reduce waste by purchasing durable goods and reusing, repairing, sharing, and donating items instead of throwing them away.

Top items to recycle consistently

How many of us have made a New Year's resolution only to realize we bit off more than we can chew? Keep your resolution simple to be successful by focusing on being better at recycling one or two more items. Once you’ve mastered those, challenge yourself to keep recycling more! Remember to recycle these items that most haulers take:

  • Aluminum and metal food and beverage cans;
  • Glass food and beverage bottles and jars;
  • Paper (including magazines, newspapers, cardboard and cereal boxes);
  • Plastic bottles and jugs (including milk and juice jugs, water and ketchup bottles);
  • Cartons (including milk cartons and juice boxes).

When you start with these standard items, it's easy to keep a New Year's recycling resolution. Remember to collect recyclables throughout your house; not just in the kitchen! Collect recyclables from the bathroom, laundry room and office as well. Keep yourself accountable by letting all your friends and family know your new goal. You might even be able to save money by downsizing your trash bin!

Why recycle?

A large part of what still goes in the trash is recyclable. When you reduce, reuse, or recycle you help:

  • Reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators;
  • Conserve natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals;
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change;
  • Help sustain the environment for future generations;
  • Help create the more than 4,500 products that use recycled materials.

Make that resolution to join your neighbors and recycle!

**Original by: